"The military option is simply not viable, because North Koreans are well-fortified. They have a large number of installations scattered across their country. They are determined to fight. The United States with all of its military might simply does not have a good option. A surgical strike would not accomplish anything except make North Koreans even madder," he said.
In fact, all punitive measures are bad, he added. A military option could lead to great loss of life, while additional economic sanctions are likely to leave North Koreans without food and fuel.
In addition, "South Koreans are still under the guns and short-range missiles of North Korea. That's not going to go away," Hoadley said, pointing to extra challenges. "Would there be a possibility that South Korea would begin looking at nuclear weapons acquisition itself? And if the South Koreans get nuclear weapons, would the Japanese follow the same route? Would there be a tense nuclear weapons standoff overlaying the current conventional weapons standoff?"tested its brand-new ground-to-ground intermediate ballistic missile, known as the Hwasong-12.
As a result, Washington officially ended its policy of "strategic patience" toward the reclusive nation, saying that all options are on the table. In addition, the US Navy sent its Carl Vinson Strike Group to the Korean Peninsula, prompting many to question whether Washington could carry out an attack against Pyongyang.
"The question would be where they would meet. You think that Donald Trump would fly to Pyongyang? Would they meet in Geneva? Would they meet in Moscow? Would they meet in Washington? Setting up the logistics of such a meeting would be enormous, not to mention security for these two very controversial leaders," the analyst said.
Hoadley further mentioned that a meeting between Moon Jae-in, the newly elected president of South Korea, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could "diffuse tensions a little bit."
"Maybe Donald Trump would be a pragmatic deal maker and bargain with Kim Jong-un for some sort of a face-saving concession that would lower the temperature and allow the US battle group to leave North Korean waters. Then the possibility of a military conflict would go down," he suggested.
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